Coast Guard Tows Deceased Right Whale

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Coast Guard has towed a deceased right whale calf to officials with NOAA Fisheries and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at the boat ramp in Mayport, Fla., today at about 3:45 p.m.

The right whale calf was located off Jacksonville Beach, Fla., by a commercial fishing vessel. The whale was brought to the boat ramp by a crew from Station Mayport and will be removed from the water and transported to the University of Florida for a necropsy by FWC crews.

Coast Guard launched a vessel to tow the whale. The crew of the 25-foot boat couldn’t reach the whale because it was in water that was too shallow for the boat to navigate. A team from FWC launched a small zodiac from the beach to secure a towing line around the caudal stem of the whale and passed the line to Coast Guard crews. The Coast Guard towed the whale approximately 8-miles to the Mayport boat ramp.

The whale is being transported to the University of Florida for a necropsy to determine the cause of its death.

The northern right whale, one of the rarest and most endangered species of whale, is protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 and the Endangered Species Act of 1973. With an estimated 300-350 northern right whales left, this species is dangerously close to extinction.

Recreational waterway users and beach goers are also encouraged to report any whale sightings or accidental collisions with a whale to the Coast Guard on channel 16 VHF-FM or via telephone at 1-888-97-WHALE for Florida residents or 305-862-2850 for Georgia and South Carolina residents. The following information should be provided:

* Location
* Date and Time
* Speed of the Vessel
* Size of the Vessel
* Water Depth
* Wind Speed and Direction
* Description of the Impact
* Fate of the Animal
* Size, if known

Video of the right whale calf being brought in by Coast Guard crews is available below. To download the video, right click on the link and select “save target as.”

* Video clip 1.

* Video clip 2.

* Video clip 3.

* Video clip 4.

* Video clip 5.

Coast Guard tows dead whale

MAYPORT, Fla. – Coast Guard Station Mayport crewmembers carefully tow a deceased right whale to the Mayport boat ramp Jan. 25, 2007. Coast Guard photograph by PA2 Bobby Nash.

Coast Guard Tows Dead Whale

MAYPOPRT, Fla. – A member of Coast Guard Station Mayport and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries look at a deceased right whale that was just brought to the Mayport boat ramp Jan. 25, 2007. Coast Guard photograph by PA2 Bobby Nash.

Coast Guard Tows Dead Whale

MAYPORT, Fla. – A deceased right whale floats near the boat ramp of the Mayport
boat ramp Jan. 25, 2007. Coast Guard photograph by PA2 Bobby Nash.

Source: USCG D7 Public Affairs

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